May 1, 2024

Comon Probate Queries

Probate, from the Latin term ‘probatum’, means “proving”. This involves proving that the deceased person’s Last Will in...

Probate, from the Latin term ‘probatum’, means “proving”. This involves proving that the deceased person’s Last Will in possession of the Executor is really as it is. The Court grants probate and this allows the Executor to administer/collect assets, pay liabilities/debts and distribute legacies/benefits.

Valuation for IHT

To calculate Inheritance Tax (IHT), the value of the deceased's assets and liabilities must be determined. It must first be established whether the estate will be liable to IHT at all or if any exemptions or reliefs apply. If so, then it is important to determine how much tax should be paid.

RICS Valuation

Executors often do not have the knowledge or experience to accurately value property. We recommend that they hire an RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer familiar with Red Book Regulations to give an accurate valuation.

Agent vs. Surveyor

A deceased person’s family member may already know several local estate agents who could provide a valuation for free but we discourage this. The reason being that these valuations are biased in a sense is that they want to convince Executors to market properties with them for commission reasons.

Complexities of Probate

The RICS definition of Market Value is used for Probate valuations and this is defined as the price an asset is exchanged for between a willing buyer and seller. Probate properties are often dilapidated and require skilled valuation surveyors who can determine their value prior to being sold/let.

Challenging a Valuation

HMRC may challenge a submitted valuation and enquire as to why it was valued either too low or too high, particularly if there are recessions or property booms. The surveyor may receive correspondence from the District Valuer justify their conclusion and past successful cases have seen them submit more detailed comparable sales evidence.

Selling Property

If a property is sold within 4 years of the valuation date, a claim for a rebate can be made to HMRC. This process may not be straightforward, especially if market conditions have changed.


The Executor’s role is very important because they will be held personally liable for any incorrect values used on a Person’s IHT400 form. Our panel of chartered surveyors are all experienced in property valuations for probate purposes. Please request for one today and they will promise to deliver an accurate valuation quickly that you can rely on to satisfy H.M Revenue & Customs.